scalawag

[skal-uh-wag]
noun
1.
a scamp; rascal.
2.
U.S. History. a native white Southerner who collaborated with the occupying forces during Reconstruction, often for personal gain.
Also, scallywag; especially British, scallawag.


Origin:
1840–50, Americanism; origin uncertain

scalawaggery, noun
scalawaggy, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
scalawag (ˈskæləˌwæɡ)
 
n
a variant of scallywag

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

scalawag
"disreputable fellow," 1848, Amer.Eng., originally in trade union jargon, of uncertain origin, perhaps an alteration of Scottish scallag "farm servant, rustic" (by influence of wag "habitual joker"). An early recorded sense was "undersized or worthless animal" (1854), which suggests an alteration of
Scalloway, one of the Shetland Islands, in allusion to little Shetland ponies. In U.S. history, used from 1862 of anti-Confederate native white Southerners.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The evil ones are in power, as it was in the carpetbagger and scalawag days.
Scalawag the talking parrot is a member of the band.
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